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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 8 February 1989

HOME DEPARTMENT

Isle of Man

99. Mr. Holt : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last met representatives of the Manx Government ; and what matters relating to the representation abroad of the interests of the Manx Government were discussed.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend met members of the Executive Council of the Isle of Man in September1987. No matters relating to the representation abroad of the interests of the Manx Government were discussed on that occasion, but Home Office Ministers and officials are in regular contact with the Isle of Man Government on matters concerning the island.

Services for Deaf People

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many interpreters for the deaf are employed by police authorities ; if he is satisfied with the availability of interpreters for deaf people in contact with the police ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : It is an operational matter for the police to obtain the services of a suitably qualified interpreter for the deaf in appropriate cases. The Home Office has no record of the numbers of such interpreters whose services are used by the police. Such information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Guidance to the police on interviewing suspects who are deaf is contained in the codes of practice issued in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and in Home Office circular 88/85, copies of which are in the Library. Code C, for the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by police officers, advises the police that most local authority social services departments can supply a list of suitably qualified interpreters.

The Home Office is currently reviewing the first four codes of practice issued. The views of a wide range of organisations (including those representing the deaf) have been sought and will be taken fully into account.

Economic League

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Economic League is registered under the Data Protection Act 1984.

Mr. Renton : The Economic League has a single entry in the data protection register, a copy of which is in the Library, covering its processing of personal data for the administration of the organisation.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to enact legislation to ensure


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that people blacklisted by the Economic League can obtain access to the files that have caused their blacklisting to check that information.

Mr. Renton : No.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight, 20 January, Official Report, column 350, what action is being taken to reduce the time taken to deal with claims for compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : We have provided extra resources which have enabled the board to open a new office in Glasgow, to increase its staff in post from 220 in 1987 to 320 now, and to finance the resulting increase in the number of awards made. We are also reviewing administrative procedures with the board with the aim of reducing the time taken to resolve claims.

Custody Time Limits

Mr. Andrew MacKay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for the further extension of custody time limits.

Mr. Hurd : I intend to lay regulations which will, with effect from 1 June, extend custody time limits to Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Cleveland, Derbyshire, Durham, Hereford and Worcester, Humberside, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Warwickshire, and West Yorkshire. In the west midlands, the time limit to committal will be reduced from 84 to 70 days in all petty sessions areas except Birmingham where it will remain 84 days. The regulations will also apply with custody limits to serious fraud cases transferred to the Crown court under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1987.

Probation Officers

Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish in the Official Report in tabular form the information he has, using age bands, for each five-year period from 1965 to the most recent year for which figures are available, on the ages of individuals appointed to be senior probation officers ; (2) if he will publish in the Official Report the information he has, in age bands and in tabular form, on the ages of individuals appointed to be probation officers since 1965 who were (i) under 28 years of age and (ii) between 28 years of age and 65 years of age.

Mr. John Patten : This information is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost, if it is available at all.

Football Matches (Arrests)

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list Rugby League football clubs together with the following information for each of them during the 1987-88 season : (a) the number of


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matches played at their grounds, (b) the total season's attendance, (c) the total arrests in association with such matches, (d) the average attendance per match, (e) the average number of arrests per match and (f) the arrests as a proportion of the attendance.


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Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 26 January 1989] : I have been asked to reply.

No information is collected centrally about the numbers of arrests at Rugby League matches. Attendance figures and matches played at the grounds of Rugby League clubs in the 1987-88 season were :


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Division 1             |Number of matches at  |Total attendance      |Average attendance per                       

                       |ground                                       |match                                        

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bradford Northern      |14                    |68,674                |4,905                                        

Castleford             |13                    |58,770                |4,520                                        

Halifax                |15                    |96,440                |6,429                                        

Hull                   |17                    |84,073                |4,945                                        

Hull Kingston Rovers   |17                    |73,229                |4,308                                        

Hunslet                |14                    |36,704                |2,622                                        

Leeds                  |16                    |177,631               |11,102                                       

Leigh                  |15                    |69,606                |4,640                                        

St. Helens             |18                    |146,856               |8,159                                        

Salford                |18                    |72,573                |4,032                                        

Swinton                |14                    |42,292                |3,021                                        

Warrington             |18                    |93,544                |5,197                                        

Widnes                 |15                    |99,427                |6,628                                        

Wigan                  |21                    |278,917               |13,282                                       

                                                                                                                   

Division 2                                                                                                         

Barrow                 |14                    |22,740                |1,624                                        

Barley                 |16                    |15,956                |997                                          

Bramley                |15                    |13,061                |871                                          

Carlisle               |16                    |13,607                |850                                          

Dewsbury               |16                    |12,274                |767                                          

Doncaster              |16                    |23,658                |1,479                                        

Featherstone Rovers    |19                    |38,669                |2,035                                        

Fulham                 |15                    |9,322                 |621                                          

Huddersfield           |14                    |8,417                 |601                                          

Keighley               |16                    |17,988                |1,124                                        

Mansfield Marksman     |14                    |5,146                 |368                                          

Oldham                 |18                    |69,449                |3,858                                        

Rochdale Hornets       |15                    |16,444                |1,096                                        

Runcorn Highfield      |16                    |8,658                 |541                                          

Sheffield Eagles       |14                    |11,862                |847                                          

Springfield Borough    |18                    |19,231                |1,068                                        

Wakefield Trinity      |17                    |40,049                |2,356                                        

Whitehaven             |16                    |31,087                |1,943                                        

Workington Town        |14                    |10,322                |737                                          

York                   |16                    |22,324                |1,395                                        

Police Surgeons

Mr. Caborn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will review present arrangements for the work of general practitioners who act as part-time police surgeons.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) on 27 January 1989 at column 769.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Borrowing

Mr. Warren : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a breakdown from the latest available data of the major types of borrowers in the public and private sectors of the economy.

Mr. Major : Information on borrowing is given in the CSO's monthly publication "Financial Statistics", which is available in the Library of the House. Section 1 provides a unified set of financial data for all the main sectors of the economy. Subsequent sections give various breakdowns


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by financial instrument and source appropriate to individual sectors. Also given is an industry analysis of borrowing from the monetary sector.

EC (Indirect Taxation)

Mr. Gardiner : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will report on his discussions with the European Commissioner for taxation and customs union on 19 January ; and how far these discussions advanced the planned approximation of indirect taxes within the Community.

Mr. Lilley : My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a useful discussion with Madame Scrivener which I hope will pave the way for further constructive exchanges in the future. The Government remain of the view that indirect tax approximation is unnecessary for the completion of the single market.

Mr. Gardiner : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he intends to put to the Council of Ministers on 13 February to advance the planned approximation of indirect taxes within the European Community.


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Mr. Lilley : My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has already suggested an alternative, market-based approach to indirect taxation in the single market, which remains on the table for future discussions.

VAT

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on proposed changes to value added tax zero rating of supplies to non-domestic consumers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lilley : I assume that the hon. Gentleman has in mind the changes in VAT zero rating resulting from last June's judgment of the European Court of Justice which were announced in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, South (Mr. Yeo) on 6 February. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has received, and taken fully into account, a large number of representations about the implementation of this judgment.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate what additional revenue would accrue from proposed changes to implement value added tax standard rating of supplies to university halls of residence ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lilley : None. No changes are proposed to the VAT zero rating of supplies of new construction services and fuel and power to university halls of residence.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Public Appeals

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will specify each donation which the Overseas Development Administration has made in response to public appeals for financial aid during each financial year since 1979-80.

Mr. Chris Patten : The ODA has made three responses to public appeals since 1979, in each case to appeals launched by the disasters emergency committee of major voluntary agencies following disasters overseas. These are :


                                              |£                  

------------------------------------------------------------------

December 1987, for famine victims in Ethiopia |2,000,000          

August 1988, for flood victims in Sudan       |1,000,000          

August 1988, for flood victims in Bangladesh  |1,000,000          

These figures exclude the ODA's responses to the many appeals to donor Governments from the United Nations and other international agencies.

Amazonia

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the value of Her Majesty's Government's contribution to development projects in the Amazonian area of Brazil ; and what measures are taken to ensure that these projects do not result in the destruction of tropical rain forests.

Mr. Chris Patten : We have jointly funded with non-governmental agencies nine projects assisting the


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people of the Amazonian region at a cost of about £77,000 and we are providing £80,000 to the Maraca rain forest project which conducts research into forest regeneration. International organisations of which the United Kingdom is a member have supported projects in the region, but we do not have information detailing disbursements under individual loans provided through these channels. Environmental conditions have normally been attached to such loans.

Afghanistan

Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to provide aid to meet current humanitarian needs in Kabul.

Mr. Chris Patten : We have provided £60 million of aid for the victims of war in Afghanistan since 1980, including £10 million in the current financial year. In addition, I have just agreed a further contribution of £500,000, particularly to meet current mother and child relief needs ; £250,000 of this is being channelled through UNICEF and £250,000 is for the International Committee of the Red Cross relief programmes.

SCOTLAND

Lennox Castle Hospital

Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what dates in the period 1979 to 1988 the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has visited Lennox Castle hospital ; and when the commission first indicated to Greater Glasgow health board its anxieties about conditions there.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : In the discharge of its functions under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984, the Mental Welfare Commission has visited Lennox Castle hospital on the following occasions : Programmed visits

28 November 1984

23 October 1985

26 November 1986

13 April 1988

Special visits

2 August 1985

7 January 1988

9 December 1988

Prior to 1984, visits were confined to those by individual medical commissioners for the purposes of interviewing patients and such visits continue on an annual basis.

The commission first commented adversely about some aspects of the facilities at Lennox Castle following the visit on 28 November 1984. The Greater Glasgow health board has embarked on a major rebuilding and upgrading programme ; two new, purpose-designed intensive care units have been built, and four wards substantially upgraded at a cost of £3.8 million. A recurring increase of £2 million, or 18 per cent. of the mental handicap budget, has been approved by the board in the current year for the recruitment of additional staff and support in the community.

The board has committed itself to making Lennox Castle a centre of excellence and is making the necessary provision to achieve that objective.


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Training Schemes

Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many workers in Scotland are presently employed in Government-sponsored training schemes ; what this represents as a proportion of the work force ; and what are the figures for each o the last 10 years.

Mr. Rifkind : Information on numbers participating in Government training programmes is available only for YTS and the community programme and from 1984 onwards. Participants in these programmes as a proportion of the civilian work force since 1984 are set out in the table :


s

                       |(a)<1>                |(b)<1>                                                              

Year                   |Numbers in YTS and    |Civilian work force   |(a) as a percentage of                       

                       |community programme                          |(b)                                          

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1984                   |44,958                |2,083                 |2.2                                          

1985                   |50,304                |2,109                 |2.4                                          

1986                   |59,307                |2,100                 |2.8                                          

1987                   |68,464                |2,089                 |3.3                                          

1988                   |77,117                |2,108                 |3.6                                          

<1> At 31 March.                                                                                                   

At present some 49,000 young people are participating in YTS and almost 20,000 people in employment training (which from September 1988 replaced the community programme and all other adult training measures).

Housing

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the net spending on housing, in real terms, in 1978-79, 1988-89, 1989- 90 and 1990-91.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : At 1987-88 prices Scottish net public housing expenditure in 1978-79 was £1,191 million, almost half on general subsidies to the housing stock ; estimated expenditure in 1988-89 is £607 million, and planned expenditure in 1989-90 and 1990-91 £537 million and £557 million respectively. Gross capital expenditure on housing at 1987-88 prices was £691 million in 1978-79 and £833 million in 1988-89, and is planned to be £818 million and £766 million in 1989-90 and 1990-91. None of these figures includes housing benefit expenditure.

Scottish Trades Union Congress (Health Matters)

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the date of all communications received by him from the Scottish Trades Union Congress on health matters since September 1988 and the date of his reply ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is as follows :


Date of communication           |Date of reply                              

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

7 September 1988                |8 February 1989                            

6 January 1989                  |26 January 1989                            

20 January 1989                 |31 January 1989                            

A further letter from the Scottish Trades Union Congress dated 3 February was also received by me on 6 February.


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Cervical/Cytology

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give for each health board for each of the last three years the number of cervical smears carried out.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is not currently available in the form requested, but arrangements are under way to collect it on a health board basis.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Mr. McTaggart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he has any information from Greater Glasgow health board on the starting date for the improvement work to the accident and emergency department of Glasgow royal infirmary.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The main part of the programme to upgrade accident and emergency services at Glasgow royal infirmary started on site in October 1988 with an expected date of completion of April 1990. However, to allow that work to start, other linked schemes were put in hand in November 1987 so that part of the accident and emergency workload could be dealt with elsewhere.

Pharmacists

Mr. McTaggart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the establishment level of hospital pharmacists for each health board in Scotland, and the actual number of pharmacists employed in each board area.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The following table gives the information as at 31 December 1987 :


Health board                                 |Establishment level (Whole time equivalents)|Staff in post (Whole time equivalents)                                                   

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Argyll and Clyde                             |26                                          |25                                                                                       

Ayrshire and Arran                           |25                                          |24.3                                                                                     

Borders                                      |6                                           |7                                                                                        

Dumfries and Galloway                        |8.3                                         |7.3                                                                                      

Fife                                         |20                                          |19                                                                                       

Forth Valley                                 |17.3                                        |17.3                                                                                     

Grampian<1>                                  |35                                          |32                                                                                       

Greater Glasgow                              |133.9                                       |122.9                                                                                    

Highland                                     |14.8                                        |14.8                                                                                     

Lanarkshire                                  |30.7                                        |28.7                                                                                     

Lothian                                      |83.7                                        |79.7                                                                                     

Tayside                                      |47.3                                        |46.7                                                                                     

Western Isles                                |2                                           |2                                                                                        

<1> Grampian health board provides also hospital pharmaceutical services for Orkney and Shetland health boards.                                                                     

Blood Products

Mr. McTaggart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many units of blood products were supplied to (a) commercial medical establishments and (b) other private hospitals by the Scottish blood transfusion service in each year since 1982, what was the cost of these supplies in each year, and what was the revenue income in each year from such sales.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The available information is as follows :


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Year ending               Supplied to the                                   Revenue                                          

                          private sector                                                                                     

31 March                 |Units of whole blood and|Units of red cell       |received (£)                                     

                         |platelet depleted blood |concentrates                                                              

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1983                     |650                     |830                     |Nil                                              

1984                     |560                     |1,600                   |1,915                                            

1985                     |730                     |2,300                   |27,287                                           

1986                     |494                     |2,509                   |34,032                                           

1987                     |385                     |2,755                   |45,380                                           

1988                     |286                     |3,384                   |54,557                                           

Notes:                                                                                                                       

1. Other blood products are occasionally supplied, in small quantities, to the private sector.                               

2. Receipts relate to all blood and blood products supplied.                                                                 

3. Receipts will not necessarily be brought to account in the year of supply.                                                

Mr. McTaggart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to announce the review of handling charges for blood, blood products and plasma units to private medical establishments by the blood transfusion service.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Scottish Home and Health Department received the preliminary results of the review on 31 January 1989. I shall write to the hon. Member once a decision has been taken.

Water Orders

Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average length of time taken by his Department to deal with an application for approval of a water order ; when the initial draft of the water order for Allt Bail 'un Tuim, Bhuidhe in Glenmoriston was submitted to the Scottish Office by Highland regional council ; when he expects to be able to give approval ; and if he will make a statement on the length of time taken to process this water order.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The average time from submission of a preliminary draft to making a water order is about 20 months. The initial draft of the Allt Bail'un Tuim Bhuidhe water order was submitted on 22 July 1987. Engineering appraisal and consultation within the Scottish Office was followed by several rounds of correspondence with the council. Statutory procedures, including an advertising stage which allows for objections to the Secretary of State, have still to be completed and I cannot say when the order will be made. The time taken to deal with this order reflects the degree of consultation and consideration required, and is not unusual. The procedures are designed to safeguard the rights of all parties who may be affected.

Deaf People (Services)

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many qualified social workers with specialist training for work with people who are deaf are currently employed in Scotland by (a) social work departments, (b) voluntary organisations and (c) other bodies ; how many have completed training in each of the last five years ; what action he is taking to increase their number ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is not held centrally. Qualifying training

"is designed to import the basic knowledge and skills required for social work generally".


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There is at present no formal specialist training course for those wishing to work exclusively or primarily with deaf people. However the Open university, with financial support from my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health, is developing a course which will be available to social work staff throughout the United Kingdom who wish to specialise in this area.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many interpreters for the deaf are employed by public bodies in Scotland ; how many have been trained in each of the last five years ; what action he is taking to increase their number ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Comprehensive information of the kind requested is not held centrally. I understand that there are 15 interpreters on a register maintained by the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters, which also undertakes their training. The latest information on trainees is as follows :


       |Number       

---------------------

1983   |2            

1984   |1            

1985   |3            

1986   |-            

1987   |1            

In 1988-89 grant of £18,580 will be paid to the association towards training and running costs generally.

Greater Glasgow Health Board

Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total number of sessions contributed by the 127 honorary consultants in Greater Glasgow health board hospitals and clinics ; on what basis remuneration is calculated ; and what the total remuneration is expected to be in the current financial year.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : A total of 726 sessions. Honorary consultants remain employees of their parent authority and their honorary contracts with the health board are unpaid appointments. The cost of any distinction awards for which they are eligible is however reimbursed to the parent authority by the National Health Service. Greater Glasgow health board spent £1.5 million on reimbursement between 1 February 1988 and 1 February 1989.

NHS (Market Research)

Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many market research studies of the National Health Service have been commissioned since 1979 ; which companies undertook them ; what the remit was in each case ; and what the budget was in each case.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The only market research study undertaken nationally has been the survey recently carried out by Research Surveys of Great Britain Ltd. at a cost of £105,000 plus VAT. The study was designed to investigate consumers' experience of and attitudes to the National Health Service, and to discover whether, and if so how, the public wish the service to change.

Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which company or body is conducting the present market research study of the National Health Service in Scotland ; and whether the sample size is drawn from the general public or from within the National Health Service itself.


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Mr. Michael Forsyth : The company which conducted the study is Research Surveys of Great Britain Ltd. The sample was designed to include in-patients, out-patients, GP patients and the general public.

Southern General Hospital

Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many complaints have been received from patients or other members of the public about the accident and emergency unit at the Southern general hospital in each of the past five years.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The number of complaints received by the board is as follows :


Year                 |Number of complaints                     

---------------------------------------------------------------

1984                 |4                                        

1985                 |5                                        

1986                 |8                                        

1987                 |5                                        

1988                 |5                                        

Forestry

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give a breakdown of the number of jobs attributable to forestry in each of the regions of the United Kingdom.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The information is not available in that form.

HEALTH

Irradiated Rodent Corpses

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methods have been used for the disposal of irradiated rodent carcases used in radiation experimental work by the Medical Research Council and hospitals involved in medical radiation research.


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